The Defense Institute of International Legal Studies (DIILS) celebrated its 20th anniversary October 1, and celebrated with a Dining Out celebration on October 12 at Ochre Court, Salve Regina University, in Newport, Rhode Island.
DIILS, one of the lesser known schools on board Naval Station Newport, has trained nearly 41,500 international military and civilian officials from 118 countries in the rule of law since it began two decades ago. With a staff of only 30, DIILS plays an integral part in supporting U.S. foreign and security policy in the areas of human rights, military justice, and the law of armed conflict.
In 1992, DIILS was established as part of a Congressional mandate to expand International Military Education and Training programs. It became a functional element of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency on June 16, 2000.
Today, DIILS leads the U.S. Defense security cooperation community in resourcing professional legal education and training for U.S. partners around the world. Its $9 million budget funds annual operations that include over 130 mobile courses, seminars, and workshops with over 73 countries. Since its inception, DIILS has taught over 1,300 mobile programs globally and approximately 100 multinational resident courses.
DIILS training events take place in the United States and around the world. In Afghanistan, principles taught by DIILS instructors formed the basis for establishing the Afghan National Army's Legal Corps. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, DIILS-trained legal professionals are now prosecuting and convicting militia members for sexual and gender-based crimes against civilians through their own military justice system. In Eastern Europe, the Slovenian Ministry of Justice, using skills obtained through DIILS, is assessing its laws and training prosecutors and judges on the Law of Armed Conflict to ensure that soldiers returning from deployments in Afghanistan are not prosecuted for legitimate military actions taken in furtherance of the International Security Assistance Force mission.
At its home base in Newport, DIILS conducts nine annual resident courses covering topics such as the legal aspects of combating terrorism, corruption, and border security; international humanitarian law or the law of armed conflict; land and maritime operational law; human rights law; rules of engagement and rules for the use of force; computer crimes and the Internet; military law development; and developing a professional military.
One notable course is the Stability Operations: Legal Aspects of Rules of Engagement / Rules for the Use of Force Afghanistan. This two-week course helped units scheduled to deploy to join coalition forces in Afghanistan understand the operational impact of national caveats on coalition rules of engagement. DIILS also recently completed a regional seminar on Maritime Law designed to promote a peaceful resolution of territorial disputes in the Pacific, and a workshop on maritime operational law that promoted multilateral solutions to disaster preparedness and the protection of maritime resources among Pacific Island Nations.
With its emphasis on international military education and training, DIILS continues to grow as demand increases for legal security cooperation programs to address the challenges of defense in the 21st century.
DIILS staff enjoying the revelry.
~ To the Grog Bowl!
Former and current DIILS staff mingle.
Former DIILS Director and Resident Program Contract Manager.
South American Guest and Regional Program Director.